Adventures in Homemaking: Canning

I must admit i’ve never had much interest in canning. It seemed like something that old ladies did, so I turned up my nose at it.

Until I realized how much salsa, jam and pickles my family consumes. Then the wheels in my head began turning, what if I could make a ton of these foods myself during the summer when produce prices are lower? How could I make that last throughout the year? Oh…..right……canning.

Duh!

So now I am timidly venturing into the world of canning. I still have a few weeks of somewhat-low produce prices so I thought I could experiment for fun next week and see how this whole canning thing works. I’m a little intimidated, as I don’t know anyone who does canning and so i’m starting from scratch. Fortunately, the internet has lots of info to help get me started. I found Tipnut to be the most useful, with tons of recipes. Over 100 in fact.

http://tipnut.com/recipes-canning/

Food.com and Allrecipes.com also had lots of recipes to search through. In fact, I will be using a simple grab jelly recipe next week found at the link below.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grape-jelly/detail.aspx

It seemed simple enough for a first timer. I will have to let everyone know how it goes!

-Housewife at Work

(Im)Patiently Waiting.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me recently about what purpose this blog serves. I think it must be confusing to many, as I am a wife and mother who works outside of the home and yet celebrates homemakers and stay-at-home mothers. It probably seems like a contradiction, yet to a lot of women it makes perfect sense. Let me explain.

A few years ago my husband had a well-paying job that allowed me to spend most of my time at home. It was very enjoyable, as we had a wonderful three-bedroom house with a big backyard and lots of disposable income. I was very content taking care of my husband and son. However, I wasn’t very good at being a homekeeper. I spent most of my time on frivolous things that wasted time and money. I was a housewife in name only, but not in practice. We ate out almost every night of the week, and I spent most of my time on playdates or shopping trips with girlfriends. I didn’t have a homekeeping skill to my name, and the house was always in a disarray. I was an extremely childish bride, but my husband love me and cared for me anyway.

At one point my husband became injured at work. It was a serious enough injury that he realized he would be unable to do jobs in the manual labor sector ever again. We did a lot of praying and fasting, then it became clear to us that my husband needed to go back to school. He came across the passage in Isaiah that reads “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it.’ (Isaiah 30:21) My husband felt very strongly that his injury was a sign that he needed to complete school so that he could work in a field that wasn’t so physically demanding.  We’ve both always had an aptitude for math, so I was very supportive of him when he chose to finish his degree in Accountancy. It seemed perfect, but it required that we both give a lot up. We lived nowhere near a university, so we had to sell our home at a loss in order to get to school before the semester began. Without his high-paying job we couldn’t afford a place as nice, so we chose to live in Graduate Student Housing on campus. The came my husband’s pain, we realized all too soon that my husband couldn’t manage school and a full-time job due to his injuries. He was in too much pain from being away from home for 13 hours a day without any resting periods.

He very humbly asked me to consider working, just until he could finish school in three years. Then I could go back to homemaking if I chose.

I was very angry and bitter, but I went along with his request. I know it bothered him a lot to ask me, but I did feel as if it was a chance to submit to my husband in a way that hadn’t been required of me yet. However, the submission was purely lip service at the time. I grumbled a LOT about becoming the breadwinner and I know that it hurt him deeply to see his wife behaving in a way that was so unbecoming. I wasn’t really mad at my husband though, I was mostly angry at GOD. I felt as if my calling was in the home, and I was angry that God would pull me away from that calling. I realized after some Bible-reading and help from a friend that I was asking the Lord to operate on my timetable instead of his. I needed to see that homekeeping WAS in my future, but that for the moment I was needed in the workforce. God wasn’t trying to hurt me or make me angry, he was trying to help our family have a successful future.

In Jeremiah 29:11 is says … For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD,plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

I also came to realize that I was being given a big TIME-OUT on the housekeeping front. God had given me a position as a keeper of the home, and I had squandered it. Before my husband’s injury I had countless hours to spare and only one child to care for.  Now I was going to be expected to keep the home on a much shorter schedule while caring for two kids and supporting my husband through school. I was forced to step up my game, and instead of constantly whining about my lot I chose to use this time to support my husband 100% as my leader and to slowly start developing my homemaking skills….you know….all the stuff I should have been doing in the first place! That way when my time to return to full-time homemaking begins, I will be ready to do it the way I should have the first time.

I’ve learned a lot over the last few months. Oddly enough, i’ve done more homekeeping since beginning a 40 hour a week job than I ever did when homekeeping WAS my job! How sad for me. But i’ve learned that our God is a God of second chances and perfect timing, and i’m actually more content than ever. That isn’t to say I won’t be super thrilled to return to full-time stay-at-home-wifery, but until that day comes I plan to use this blog to chronicle my learning and growing while providing support to other working mom’s waiting for their chance to become a working mom at home!

‘For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.’ – Habakkuk 2:3

 

May God bless you abundantly and in his perfect timing!

Housewife at Work!

Making bread for the first time today!

Okay, I admit. While I feel that i’m a pretty good cook, I’m not much of a baker. In our house in fact, my husband is quite skilled with baked goods. He grew up with a mom who could dish out cookies, pies and breads like it was nothing. My mom’s definition of baking was opening a package of Wonderbread, so it just never came naturally to me.

Also, my affinity for not following directions gives me a sad lack of baking skill. HOWEVER, I am determined to change that in an attempt to prepare myself for my future role as a full-time homekeeper. Baking your own bread is not only more nutritious, but considerably more frugal. Let us not forget how TASTY home made bread is!

So I began my search for a very SIMPLE bread recipe. I found a basic one over at Just Another Hang Up.

http://justanotherhangup.blogspot.com/2010/02/artisan-bread.html Her bread looks super yummy, and the directions seemed simple enough.

I followed the directions, and as of right now i’ve got the dough rising in my kitchen! I know it sounds silly, but I actually prayed that the bread turns out okay. One of the things I envision for my family whenever we are able to let me become a stay-at-home-mother is to be a good cook! So i’ve got quite a bit of hope tied up in that darn dough. : p

I will keep you posted!

-Housewife at Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I share some happy news with you?

Our God is an awesome God.

My husband and I took upon ourselves to spend this year really honing our evangelism skills. Neither of us have natural talent in this area, and we knew that it was something that we needed to work on. So with some help from the Lord we began slowly witnessing to our friends and family and praying for them daily.

I am happy and grateful to say, that for the last four months about 7 of our dear friends have been at church every Sunday and attending a Bible study at our house.

Even better, one of them is being Baptized this Sunday by my husband.

I could not be more proud of our friend. He has had a rough year, and given the circumstances most people would turn away from God in anger. Instead, he ran towards Him. He is going to be a great instrument to the kingdom and I feel so blessed to be given the chance to watch him grow and learn.

My husband and I have learned a lot as well, because witnessing is a new thing for us. We tried not to get our hopes up, because we didn’t want to be let down if our loved ones didn’t accept Christ. What a folly on our behalves, our God can do ANYTHING. Watching the transformations of our friends has been one of the richest experiences of our lives.

Thank you God, for all the blessings of this week.

Housewife at Work